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SHOWBIZ NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

GMA NEWS NETWORK's 'VIRTUAL VISITA IGLESIA' ON MAUNDY THURSDAY AT FACEBOOK


MARCH 23 -SCREENGRABBED --JOIN VIA KAPUSO's FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM Summer is not just about vacation or fun escapades. During this time of the year, most Filipinos observe Lent, especially since the Philippines is one of the countries with the most number of Catholics. And a big part of this is the traditional Visita Iglesia where devotees visit and pray in at least seven churches during Maundy Thursday. For Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), however, observing this sacred tradition has become difficult to do as they are away from home. And the Philippines continues to supply a big chunk of manpower to the rest of the world with about 2.5 million OFWs as of last year. At the same time, there are also those who are here in the Philippines, but are physically unable to go out and visit different churches. Most of them are our kababayan who are suffering from sickness that render it difficult — or even impossible — to travel. Much as they want to go from one church to the next, they simply cannot. Tapping technology and social media, GMA Public Affairs launches its Virtual Visita Iglesia as it seeks to offer to those who are unable to physically go to church an alternative way of observing this Lenten tradition. Beginning tomorrow, Maundy Thursday, Facebook users will have access to an interactive video tour to 16 of the most beautiful heritage churches in Metro Manila, Pampanga and Bulacan via their favorite GMA Public Affairs programs’ FB pages (www.fb.com/GMAPublicAffairs). Facebook: www.fb.com/GMAPublicAffairs READ MORE...

ALSO: Gloria Romero, the Eternal Virgin


MARCH 23 -Gloria has played Virgin Mary several times, including in Martir Sa Golgota “Parang santa!”
In 1954, the Dramatic Philippines was having a hard time looking for an actress for the role of Virgin Mary in Martir Sa Golgota, a Lenten offering based on the life and passion of Jesus Christ. Gloria Romero became the unanimous choice, proving true to the words of Azucena “Mama Nene” Vera-Perez who described Gloria in an interview as having “an angelic face…parang santa!” “Up to now,” said Funfare’s “other beauty expert” Celso de Guzman Caparas who filed this report, “Gloria has an unblemished image, demure and dignified, and having an untainted reputation.” According to Celso, there was a consultation with then Archbishop Rufino Santos of Manila (the first Filipino Cardinal in 1960) who, after a check on Gloria’s personal background, approved the recommendation of the Dramatic Philippines. Martir Sa Golgota was first staged at the Manila Grand Opera House during the Holy Week (April 12 to 18, 1954), kicked off by a gala premiere graced by then Pres. Ramon Magsaysay who just arrived that morning from an Easter vacation in Baguio. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Pasyon’ written 202 years ago by Bulacan priest


MARCH 24 -ACT OF FAITH A pilgrim touches the Jubilee Cross at Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, said to contain a relic of the True Cross of Christ. LYN RILLON
BULAKAN, Bulacan—San Jose residents who walk through Padre Pilapil Street here might have wondered idly about the priest who earned this geographical homage. Holy Week might be a good time to discover this Catholic priest who was born in this town, 35 kilometers north of Metro Manila, 257 years ago. Pilapil wrote “Pasyong Mahal ng Panginoong Hesukristo,” an epic narrative of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, often set to dolorous music by the faithful and chanted during the Lenten season. In 1814, Fr. Mariano Pilapil of Barangay San Jose wrote the “Pasyon,” also known as “Pasyong Pilapil.” 
According to Jose Jaime Salvador Corpuz, who wrote the book, “Mohon, Mga Bulakenyong Biyaya ng Kasaysayan,” Pilapil was born in 1759 in San Jose village and was a doctor of theology and a representative to the law-making body, the Spanish Cortes. Before he gained popularity for writing the “Pasyon,” Pilapil also wrote the book, “Gramatica Hispano-Latina,” which drew attention to his linguistic prowess. In his book, Corpuz described Pilapil as the famous “Tagalista,” for being a master of the Tagalog language. READ MORE...

ALSO: A peek of Holy Week rituals around the globe


MARCH 23 -People in Antigua build ‘alformbras’ during the Holy Week procession. SCREENGRAB from NBC News. The Lenten season is noted as the time where Christians commemorate recall the agony and torment of Jesus Christ by visiting the 12 Stations of the Cross and fasting. In the Philippines, the Holy Week’s captivating “bull’s-eye” is the sacred San Pedro Cutud crucifixion in Pampanga where selected Christians would volunteer to be crucified as a way of cleansing themselves from sins. In other parts of the world, this divine season is practiced modestly, chiefly in Catholic-dominated nations. Hvar, Croatia In this island, “Za Krizen” (following the cross), a 500-year-old Holy Week tradition, is observed on Maundy Thursday. Six random processions from six different churches start in the evening and end in the morning. A man clothed in a white garment would lead the procession while “kantaduri” (singers) sing the “Gospin Plac” (Weeping of the Lady), a 15th century oral chant composed of eight syllables. Antigua, Guatemala Antigua, one of the most popular sites in Guatemala aside from the Mayan ruins of Tikal, attracts thousands of visitors each year in this Latin American country. Over the weekend of Lent, residents built “alfombras” (carpets) decorated with flowers, colored sawdust and vegetables on the streets where a procession will take place. It takes lengthy hours for the villagers to create the handicraft alfombras and they are left to be crushed and minced as the procession passes through the streets. READ MORE...

ALSO: Movies with religious theme


MARCH 24 -You, too, must have seen the epic movie The Ten Commandments not just once, not just twice or thrice but many, many times. If memory serves, it was the first movie shown in Manila in the early ‘60s with an intermission, drawing record crowds to the Galaxy Theater where it was shown for more than a year (perhaps the movie with the longest run in Manila’s history).
The movie has been shown again and again not just in theaters but also on television year in and year out, when the Lenten season comes around, and if you have seen it “many, many times” as I did, you can almost memorize scene after scene and continues to be amazed by the special effects (parting of the Red Sea, etc.) that equal, even surpass, the technical wonders in modern times. Digital imaging was perhaps not even a germ yet in the imagination of today’s special-effects magicians when that movie was filmed, immortalizing Charlton Heston who played Moses. The pictures on this page are those of movies circa 1952 (contributed by this paper’s Remember When? columnist Danny Dolor): Kalbaryo ni Hesus, produced by Lebran productions with “a phenomenal all-star cast” led by Norma Blancaflor as Virgin Mary and Fernando Royo as Christ. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pia Wurtzbach back in ‘sunny Manila’


MARCH 25 -Screen grab from the Miss Universe Instagram account
The queen is home once again. For the second time since winning the prestigious beauty title, reigning Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach returned to the Philippines on Good Friday, weeks ahead of the Binibining Pilipinas 2016 coronation night in April. Wurtzbach shared a photo of herself on Instagram wearing a bright yellow dress. “Back in sunny Manila!” she wrote in the caption. Earlier on Friday, the Filipino beauty queen shared a photo of herself in angel wings through the official Miss Universe Facebook page, saying she was “flying to somewhere warm today.” “Can’t wait to be back home soon and wear a Filipiniana again. Won’t be so long, I hope!” she said in a separate post. Wurtzbach last came home to the Philippines in January for a week-long series of homecoming activities after winning the Miss Universe crown in December last year. Wurtzbach is expected to turn over her Binibining Pilipinas-Universe crown on April 17. YG/RC READ MORE RELATED NEWS...
Pia Wurtzbach confirms dating a ‘Mr. Universe’...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

GMA Kapuso’s Virtual Visita Iglesia

MANILA, MARCH 28, 2016 (PHILSTAR) KAPUSO DAY By Angel Javier Cruz March 23, 2016 - Summer is not just about vacation or fun escapades. During this time of the year, most Filipinos observe Lent, especially since the Philippines is one of the countries with the most number of Catholics. And a big part of this is the traditional Visita Iglesia where devotees visit and pray in at least seven churches during Maundy Thursday.

For Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), however, observing this sacred tradition has become difficult to do as they are away from home. And the Philippines continues to supply a big chunk of manpower to the rest of the world with about 2.5 million OFWs as of last year.

At the same time, there are also those who are here in the Philippines, but are physically unable to go out and visit different churches. Most of them are our kababayan who are suffering from sickness that render it difficult — or even impossible — to travel. Much as they want to go from one church to the next, they simply cannot.

Tapping technology and social media, GMA Public Affairs launches its Virtual Visita Iglesia as it seeks to offer to those who are unable to physically go to church an alternative way of observing this Lenten tradition.

Beginning tomorrow, Maundy Thursday, Facebook users will have access to an interactive video tour to 16 of the most beautiful heritage churches in Metro Manila, Pampanga and Bulacan via their favorite GMA Public Affairs programs’ FB pages (www.fb.com/GMAPublicAffairs).

Facebook: www.fb.com/GMAPublicAffairs

READ MORE...

With just one click, one can go from one church to the next and in the process, be able to appreciate the rich history of these churches as well. For our OFWs, this is another way of touching base with their motherland while reflecting on the spirit of Lent.

While past virtual tours use photos, the 360-degree video technology gives Facebook users a different kind of spiritual experience as followers can manually scroll and scan a particular church through its 360-degree view. And since the Facebook user is the one in control of this journey, the devotee can pace himself in going through the activity, making the experience a very personal one.

The opening prayer will be voiced by multi-awarded broadcast journalist Jessica Soho, after which, a link at the end of each video’s caption will lead to the next participating Public Affairs program page.

In addition, each prayer for The Stations of the Cross will be narrated by some of GMA Public Affairs’ well-respected personalities such as Jessica, Vicky Morales and Arnold Clavio, among others. These voices give GMA’s Virtual Visita Iglesia the human touch that mere photos and texts cannot easily provide.

Indeed, the Virtual Visita Iglesia will be a welcome change for our kababayan who, for quite some time, have been away from the Philippines and its churches because of work or sickness. This is another reflection of GMA’s Serbisyong Totoo as the Kapuso Network continues to innovate ways to reach more Filipinos through social media.

Lent, as what the Catholic Church has been teaching us, is a time for us to go back to God’s embrace. Faith need not take a backseat just because one is away or unable to go to church. Technology is helping more of our Kapuso do just that. Here is a good example of how technology can greatly help people and even strengthen one’s faith.

GMA’s Virtual Visita Iglesia does not only aim to keep our Catholic traditions alive, it is using technology to bridge the gap of distance — both physical and spiritual.

For more information about the Virtual Visita Iglesia campaign and your favorite Public Affairs and News TV programs, make sure to follow GMA Public Affairs’ social media accounts:



Twitter: https://twitter.com/GMA_PA

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gmapublicaffairs/


PHILSTAR

Gloria Romero, the Eternal Virgin FUNFARE By Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 23, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Gloria has played Virgin Mary several times, including in Martir Sa Golgota “Parang santa!”

In 1954, the Dramatic Philippines was having a hard time looking for an actress for the role of Virgin Mary in Martir Sa Golgota, a Lenten offering based on the life and passion of Jesus Christ.

Gloria Romero became the unanimous choice, proving true to the words of Azucena “Mama Nene” Vera-Perez who described Gloria in an interview as having “an angelic face…parang santa!”

“Up to now,” said Funfare’s “other beauty expert” Celso de Guzman Caparas who filed this report, “Gloria has an unblemished image, demure and dignified, and having an untainted reputation.”

According to Celso, there was a consultation with then Archbishop Rufino Santos of Manila (the first Filipino Cardinal in 1960) who, after a check on Gloria’s personal background, approved the recommendation of the Dramatic Philippines.

Martir Sa Golgota was first staged at the Manila Grand Opera House during the Holy Week (April 12 to 18, 1954), kicked off by a gala premiere graced by then Pres. Ramon Magsaysay who just arrived that morning from an Easter vacation in Baguio.

READ MORE...

The first edition’s cast included Julio Gonzales Anguita who was Jesus Christ, Virgilio Hilario (husband of Armi Kuusela, the first Miss Universe 1952) as John, Lucas Paredes as Judas, Gusto Gonzales as Caiphas, Celia Diaz-Laurel as Veronica, Rita Amor as Maria Magdalena, and the stars of the play Kuwentong Kutsero (mounted by Dramatic Philippines in 1951).

Reported Celso, “Martir Sa Golgota was written by Fr. Hunter Gunthrie, S.J., and Fr. Joseph Mulry, S.J., which was translated in Tagalog by Francisco ‘Soc’ Rodrigo, music by Lucio D. San Pedro and directed by Narciso Pimentel Jr. Narciso, a pre-war and post-war film director, was the chairman of the board of judges of the first 1950 Maria Clara Awards. He’s the elder brother of the first, 1955, Tawag ng Tanghalan champion Pepe Pimentel. San Pedro was declared National Artist for Music, 1991.”

The Dramatic Philippines is a theater group founded on Feb. 2, 1943, by Pimentel, Rodrigo, Horacio Tagle, Caesar del Rosario, Jesus Paredes and other Ateneo alumni mounting only Pilipino plays, both originals as well as translations, in the historic Metropolitan Theater during the war years.

Three months later, Gloria’s starrer Dalagang Ilokana opened at the Life Theater (in Quiapo) on July 4, 1954, the same film that won for Gloria her very first FAMAS Best Actress award. Gloria reprised her role as Virgin Mary for the same passion play in the Lenten of 1955 and 1956.

In 1955 (April 4 to 10), Rudy Francisco played John and Nena Cardenas as Maria Magdalena. Pimentel and Jose Dayrit, general manager of Manila Grand Opera House, handed a check for P825.90 to Pres. Magsaysay for the Mindanao earthquake fund, representing proceeds from one of the shows.

The 1956 edition (March 26 to April 1) starred Jennings Sturgeon as Jesus Christ and two Misses Philippines (Cristina Pacheco as Veronica and Edith Nakpil as Maria Magdalena), with Johnny Monteiro and Manuel Ojeda among the supporting cast.

“Sturgeon first played Jesus Christ in Lebran’s Kalbaryo ni Hesus in 1952, with Norma Blancaflor as Virgin Mary,” wrote Celso. “He did several action movies in the ‘60s including Sa Bawat Hakbang...Panganib (1961) with Fernando Poe, Jr. Pacheco competed in the 1953 Miss Universe won by Christiane Martel of France. Nakpil was crowned 1956 Miss Philippines but forfeited her right to compete in the 1956 Miss Universe and Isabel Rodriguez competed in her place. Edith is the daughter of 1926 Carnival Queen Anita Noble and Juan Nakpil, declared National Artist for Architecture in 1973. Ojeda is the father of Marilen Ojeda, 1973 Bb. Pilipinas International and 1973 Miss International fourth runner-up.”

Rez names foundling after Sen. Grace Poe

Last Jan. 15, Rez Cortez (photo) and his wife Candy got a surprise, though belated, Christmas gift — a newly-born baby girl left at their garage.

The couple doesn‘t have an idea who the baby’s parents are, and they embrace her like their own.

‘She’s a foundling,’ said Rez who named the baby Cassandra Grace after Sen./Presidentiable Grace Poe.

Rez is a staunch supporter of both Grace and her late father FPJ.


INQUIRER

‘Pasyon’ written 202 years ago by Bulacan priest By: Carmela Reyes-Estrope @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Central Luzon 12:29 AM March 24th, 2016


ACT OF FAITH A pilgrim touches the Jubilee Cross at Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, said to contain a relic of the True Cross of Christ. LYN RILLON

BULAKAN, Bulacan—San Jose residents who walk through Padre Pilapil Street here might have wondered idly about the priest who earned this geographical homage. Holy Week might be a good time to discover this Catholic priest who was born in this town, 35 kilometers north of Metro Manila, 257 years ago.

Pilapil wrote “Pasyong Mahal ng Panginoong Hesukristo,” an epic narrative of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, often set to dolorous music by the faithful and chanted during the Lenten season. In 1814, Fr. Mariano Pilapil of Barangay San Jose wrote the “Pasyon,” also known as “Pasyong Pilapil.”

According to Jose Jaime Salvador Corpuz, who wrote the book, “Mohon, Mga Bulakenyong Biyaya ng Kasaysayan,” Pilapil was born in 1759 in San Jose village and was a doctor of theology and a representative to the law-making body, the Spanish Cortes.

Before he gained popularity for writing the “Pasyon,” Pilapil also wrote the book, “Gramatica Hispano-Latina,” which drew attention to his linguistic prowess. In his book, Corpuz described Pilapil as the famous “Tagalista,” for being a master of the Tagalog language.

READ MORE...

Taught Balagtas


Francisco Balagtas -Born April 2, 1788; Bigaa, Bulacan, Captaincy General of the Philippines; Died February 20, 1862; (aged 73) Udyong, Bataan, Captaincy General of the Philippines; Occupation Poet, Language; Tagalog Citizenship; Spanish (1812 Spanish Constitution granted Philippine natives Spanish citizenship); Alma mater Colegio de San Jose (now San Jose Seminary) Notable works: Florante at Laura; Spouse: Juana Tiambeng

Pilapil completed high school at San Carlos University and earned his undergraduate degree and doctorate in sacred theology at the University of Santo Tomas. The priest was assigned to Cavite province from 1794 to 1795.

He also served as a teacher at Colegio Real de San Jose in 1812, where he taught Bulacan poet Francisco Balagtas who wrote “Florante at Laura.”

Pilapil died in 1818, four years after writing the “Pasyon.”

He has yet to be given recognition as an outstanding son of this town, said Corpuz, who is also a heritage and tourism consultant and former president of the Bulacan Heritage Conservation Society.

But there is a street named after Pilapil, thanks to a municipal ordinance passed decades ago, said Joey Rodrigo, Bulakan municipal tourism officer. Rodrigo said he would propose that a monument be put up for Padre Pilapil, much like the monument built for Padre Mariano Sevilla from neighboring Barangay Santa Ana, who started the Flores de Mayo festival in the country in 1865.


INQUIRER

A peek of Holy Week rituals around the globe By: Gianna Catolico @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 06:51 PM March 23rd, 2016


People in Antigua build ‘alformbras’ during the Holy Week procession. SCREENGRAB from NBC News.

The Lenten season is noted as the time where Christians commemorate recall the agony and torment of Jesus Christ by visiting the 12 Stations of the Cross and fasting.

In the Philippines, the Holy Week’s captivating “bull’s-eye” is the sacred San Pedro Cutud crucifixion in Pampanga where selected Christians would volunteer to be crucified as a way of cleansing themselves from sins.

In other parts of the world, this divine season is practiced modestly, chiefly in Catholic-dominated nations.

Hvar, Croatia

In this island, “Za Krizen” (following the cross), a 500-year-old Holy Week tradition, is observed on Maundy Thursday. Six random processions from six different churches start in the evening and end in the morning.

A man clothed in a white garment would lead the procession while “kantaduri” (singers) sing the “Gospin Plac” (Weeping of the Lady), a 15th century oral chant composed of eight syllables.

Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua, one of the most popular sites in Guatemala aside from the Mayan ruins of Tikal, attracts thousands of visitors each year in this Latin American country.

Over the weekend of Lent, residents built “alfombras” (carpets) decorated with flowers, colored sawdust and vegetables on the streets where a procession will take place. It takes lengthy hours for the villagers to create the handicraft alfombras and they are left to be crushed and minced as the procession passes through the streets.

READ MORE...

Also, another tradition practiced in this former Spanish colony is the “andvelaciones” found in Antigua’s churches. And velaciones are vigils wherein sacred figures are throned in an altar decorated with alformbras, representing the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was believed to have prayed and spent time before his arrest and crucifixion.

Another highlight in Guatemala’s holy week season are the “cucuruchos” or carriers who are dressed in purple robes and carry processional figures in a procession. Infants and young boys who will be trained to be cucuruchos are encouraged by the elders to dress in the traditional Lenten purple robes with sewn patches with the words “aspirante.”

Seville, Spain

A region called Andalusia in Seville is recommended as a “must-go” during Spanish Lenten season. Tens of thousands of people flock to the streets to join the processions. “Cofradias” (church brotherhoods) would actively participate in one of Spain’s grandest fiestas, as thousands of “nazarenos” (penitents) would carry the figures during a procession that starts from a cathedral.

For anonymity purposes, nazarenos should wear a “capirote,” a tall and pointed hood with eye holes, to mask their faces as self-confessed sinners.

Similar to the Filipino tradition of chanting religious songs, Spanish devotees have their “saetas” or overly emotional moments in processions comprising cappella flamenco songs honoring the religious statues.

Around a million visitors flock to Seville for this late-night spectacle.


Hooded penitents from the "La Candelaria" brotherhood walk to the church to take part in a traditional annual procession in Seville, Spain, Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Hundreds of processions take place throughout Spain during the Easter Holy Week. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Mexico City, Mexico

Semana Santa runs from Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) to Easter Sunday (Domingo de Pascua) and from Easter Sunday to the following Saturday. Moreover, this signals the much-awaited semester break of Mexican students.

During Black Saturday, burning effigies of “Judas” in towns like San Miguel de Allende are rampant because it symbolizes his treachery, however, Mexicans would also create effigies that resemble corrupt and “Satanic” politicians.

The melting pot of Mexican holy week is located in Iztapalapa, southern Mexico, where over a million people gather every year for the “Via Crucis” (Way of the Cross), where nazarenos would march in a procession to fulfill their vows to God.


The Burning of effigies of 'Judas' during Mexican Holy Week. Photo from journeymexico.com

Jerusalem, Israel

The Hebrew Holy Week kicks off on Palm Sunday, where people normally attend the Mass and march from Mount of Olives in Kidron Valley going to the Old City to commemorate Christ’s acceptance in the city, as furnished in the New Testament.

On Maundy Thursday, people witness the depiction of Christ’s meditation scene in the Garden of Gethsemane followed by candlelight procession heading to the church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, where Jesus was arrested and interrogated during the night. RAM


Christian nuns hold palm fronds during Palm Sunday procession on the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem's Old City, Sunday, March 20, 2016. For Christians Palm Sunday marks Jesus Christ's entrance into Jerusalem when his followers laid palm branches in his path, prior to his crucifixion. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)


PHILSTAR

Movies with religious theme FUNFARE By Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 24, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

You, too, must have seen the epic movie The Ten Commandments not just once, not just twice or thrice but many, many times.

If memory serves, it was the first movie shown in Manila in the early ‘60s with an intermission, drawing record crowds to the Galaxy Theater where it was shown for more than a year (perhaps the movie with the longest run in Manila’s history).

The movie has been shown again and again not just in theaters but also on television year in and year out, when the Lenten season comes around, and if you have seen it “many, many times” as I did, you can almost memorize scene after scene and continues to be amazed by the special effects (parting of the Red Sea, etc.) that equal, even surpass, the technical wonders in modern times.

Digital imaging was perhaps not even a germ yet in the imagination of today’s special-effects magicians when that movie was filmed, immortalizing Charlton Heston who played Moses.

The pictures on this page are those of movies circa 1952 (contributed by this paper’s Remember When? columnist Danny Dolor): Kalbaryo ni Hesus, produced by Lebran productions with “a phenomenal all-star cast” led by Norma Blancaflor as Virgin Mary and Fernando Royo as Christ.

READ MORE...

The Greatest Story Ever Told chronicles, as everybody knows, the story of Christ which has been retold many times over in other movies and television, with Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ as the most disturbing and therefore the most controversial.

As with The Ten Commandments, every time you watch any of the Christ movies feels like the first time, especially during the Lenten season.

Of course, there are other movies with religious themes such as Barabbas (1961), Ben Hur (1925/1959), The Bible (1966), Jesus Christ Superstar (1973), Jesus of Nazareth (1977), the Joan of Arc movies, The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Lorenzo Ruiz (The Saint, a Filipino, 1988), Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir (2013), The Song of Bernadette (1943), Spartacus (1960), Quo Vadis (1951) and many more.


INQUIRER

Pia Wurtzbach back in ‘sunny Manila’ SHARES: 759 VIEW COMMENTS @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 06:45 PM March 25th, 2016


Screen grab from the Miss Universe Instagram account

The queen is home once again. For the second time since winning the prestigious beauty title, reigning Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach returned to the Philippines on Good Friday, weeks ahead of the Binibining Pilipinas 2016 coronation night in April. Wurtzbach shared a photo of herself on Instagram wearing a bright yellow dress.

“Back in sunny Manila!” she wrote in the caption. Earlier on Friday, the Filipino beauty queen shared a photo of herself in angel wings through the official Miss Universe Facebook page, saying she was “flying to somewhere warm today.”

“Can’t wait to be back home soon and wear a Filipiniana again. Won’t be so long, I hope!” she said in a separate post.

Wurtzbach last came home to the Philippines in January for a week-long series of homecoming activities after winning the Miss Universe crown in December last year.

Wurtzbach is expected to turn over her Binibining Pilipinas-Universe crown on April 17. YG/RC

---------------------------

INQUIRER

Pia Wurtzbach confirms dating a ‘Mr. Universe’ SHARES: 3423 VIEW COMMENTS @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 03:07 PM March 22nd, 2016


Dr. Mike. SCREENGRAB FROM WURTZBACH’S TWITTER ACCOUNT

In an interview with Mario Lopez on “Extra” which was aired on Monday, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach admitted that she is dating someone.

Lopez asked Wurtzbach: “Is there a Mr. Universe?”

To which the Filipina beauty queen coyly replied: “I’m dating.”

Wurtzbach did not explicitly say that she is dating Mikhail Varshavski, whom People magazine referred to as the “sexiest doctor alive.”

Yet Wurtzbach’s admission came after Varshavski’s revelation that he is dating the most beautiful woman in the world―the universe, rather.

READ: ‘Sexiest doctor alive’ confirms dating Pia Wurtzbach—report

The 26-year-old doctor told wonderwall.com: “I am dating Pia. It’s a fairly new relationship, but I’m really excited to see where it can go!”

Photos of Wurtzbach and Varshavski first circulated last month, sparking dating rumors.

A photo of Wurtzbach’s alleged relationship status with the doctor posted on her personal Facebook account also circulated last week.

READ: Pia Wurtzbach denies dating ‘sexiest doctor alive’

Meanwhile, the “Extra” interview also featured Wurtzbach’s best friend Miss USA Olivia Jordan who said that she is also currently seeing someone but not yet at the point of getting hitched. AJH/CDG


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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